Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A pocket analysis of last night

1) Hillary can win big states, especially if it's clear that her candidacy is on the line.

2) Obama can win smaller states and those that don't traditionally lean Democrat in the general election. He also gleans a decent number of delegates in states he doesn't win. Either way, he has brought out greater numbers of Democratic voters than usual in primaries that otherwise would have been ignored.

One consensus among pro-Hillary analyses and bloggers I'm reading (and there are so many all of a sudden, it seems) is that she alone has what it takes to win the states necessary for a Democratic lock in November. Fair enough, but does anyone doubt that California and New York are likely to go for any Democrat against McCain? And is it really a good idea to give up on the heartland states just because they haven't gone our way in a while?

At this point, Hillary's strategy appears to be to go for the big states and strategically maximize her clout in the states most likely to prefer her in November. Which is, of course, standard for politics. But someone please remind her that that's not what her husband did.

Bill Clinton's electoral map was far bluer than those of either Al Gore or John Kerry. While it's true that Democrats win most often in urban areas (or as more than one pundit and Wanda Sykes put it, "where people live"), Obama's ability to galvanize Democrats in not-so-locked up states should not be ignored. Barack's polling trends may not be a politically expedient as Hillary's, but they do reflect how this thing should go.

To use a road analogy: Hillary's campaign is on the interstate, zipping from safe haven to safe haven and reaping decent results. Barack is taking the back roads, inspiring folk who otherwise might not have paid attention at all, and is also posting strong numbers.

In short, Hillary is winning among those who are ready to oust the GOP from its choke-hold on power, and have calculated that she is the best bet to do so. Obama comes out on top among typically apathetic blocs who are increasingly energized and want to vote for the person as well as the political platform, and came out in droves to propel him to 12 straight victories. Both have the potential to win handily in November, and either one will have my vote. But, to me, only one shows us what political support should be about. And that's camaraderie, not calculation.


rhonda said...

well said, not to mention very true. but i must admit i could vote for anyone NOT republican. i sat out the 04 election because i just could not get excited about either candidate...i've since learned better, because i've been living with the guilt of my past complacency for the past four years! oh, the shame, and no i am not being facetious...the dirty dirty shame.

Terry Troll said...

I was a Bill Richardson guy. When he fell out I was strongly undecided almost until Louisiana had our primary. I have no problem with either candidate. I finally ended up going Clinton because she has worked for the party good for a lot of years, has withstood and fought back against the "vast right wing conspiraicy" (and if you don't believe it exists turn on your radio to any AM station.) and the sub set of this: I wish Obama had a little more experience. The important thing though is to keep the Repugnant ones out.